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Healthy Habits - How do you make them??

Mar 19, 2019

I actually did this blog live twice today - above is the early morning version, that was on Instagram... below is the transcript from the Facebook version I did later in the day. I hope you enjoy them both!

Hey, how are you doing? And this is Mary Beckett and I'm with Blue Ice Essentials, and I'm here to talk to you again about healthy habits. In fact, I've been talking about healthy habits all week long, but I haven't really talked about how you establish healthy habits. That's kind of what I wanted to start with today. I got up this morning before six o'clock because I woke up well before my alarm, even though my alarm is set to go at six. I was awake at 5:15, so I started reading, and that's one of the healthy habits I have is getting up early, so I can work out. And I have to tell you, I didn't always get up early to work out. I was one of those people that used to just sleep every extra second I possibly could. But I discovered that if I wanted to work out on a regular basis, which was a healthy habit that I wanted to establish, then I had to do something to set that up.

That's what I want to talk to you about is how do we set up those healthy habits? Because I know it's super easy to get a bad habit going. I mean all you have to do is accidentally do something two or three times in a row. And next thing you know it's a habit. But when you want to set up a habit like working out on the regular or getting up early so that you can work out and eat a healthy breakfast before you get to work, how do you go about that? And so that's what I wanted to talk to you about.

So for myself, when I was a kid, in high school and stuff like that, I always got up early because from when I was about grade five onwards, I lived quite a long ways away from where I went to school, so I had to get up early in order to get there. And so I was an early riser because I had to for many, many years and I was quite used to it. But when my kids were little, and I was getting up in the middle of the night to feed babies and stuff like that, I got into the habit of sleeping as many hours as I could in the morning.

If I had to be at work by 8:30 I'd get up at 7:30 and make sure my kids were all ready to go and so on and so forth. But I tell you if I didn't have kids, or later in my life when my kids were kind of self-managing, then I got up way later. I can remember one time I was working out of town, and I had time ... I could get up and get going and be out the door in 12 minutes. So I was sleeping until 15 minutes before I had to leave for work. This works only as long as you don't have anything else you want to do in the morning.

But what happened was when it was about 48 I got invited to go berry picking with some friends, and I ended up on the side of a mountain just about feeling like I was going to have a heart attack because I was so out of shape and I decided I had to do something about that. And so I started going to classes, which is a great way to establish a healthy habit because it makes you a little bit accountable to other people that are there. And I started doing yoga and some other workout things and that worked really well for a while. And then I was working out of town and there were no classes to attend and so I needed to be my own self-scheduler, and I found that working out in the evening, just for my personal self, didn't work that well.

I always ended up thinking of an excuse. I was too tired. I didn't have time to work out and eat supper before I went to bed and so on and so forth. There was always an excuse. So I decided that what I really needed to do was start an early morning workout routine. It was going to be the way to solve the workout problem, and it did actually work in the end, but it took a while to establish the habit. I was reading all these different places about how do you establish an early morning workout habit? So one of the things is don't give up. The first six times you don't do what you promised yourself you are going to do you can't just say, "Well I can't do that." You have to keep going. It's when your brain learns that you're serious about something, that you really start to establish actual patterns.

If you give up after the first three or four tries, your brain learns that you weren't really serious about it, and it's almost impossible to never get that habit established. But what I did is I started setting my alarm for six in the morning and at first it seemed hard. I hit snooze, I didn't get up. So then I put my workout gear on the end of the bed, and it was still pretty hard. So then I put the yoga mat on the floor beside the bed. Finally, one day, I think it was almost two weeks into this process, I got out of bed, and I had time to do half an hour, and I felt so much better about myself just first of all because I did it. And secondly, because exercise in the morning is a really great way to set up your body for a really good effective day.

So then the next day I managed to get up a little bit earlier, and I managed to get 45 minutes done and then the next day I got an hour and so on. Now, I regularly do an hour's work out in the morning before I do anything else. And I just make sure that I have my alarm set so that I get up early and I make sure I get into bed in time so that I can get up early without real pain and suffering and so on. Because I got to tell you, you don't want to meet me on a day when I haven't had much sleep. I'm just not as much fun to be around. So anyway, I have established this workout routine and now I get up really regularly and I do an hour of yoga that includes some meditation time. And I am really a lot happier with that because my flexibility has really increased. My fitness level has really increased.

This year I decided I needed to really add back in some aerobic stuff because I was doing a fitness classes that were aerobic, but I haven't been available to do those because I've been traveling a lot lately, and they've been out of town and so on and so forth. I decided good brisk walk is a good fitness activity, and it's easy to work into your routine. I just started walking back and forth to work. So 10 minutes there, 10 minutes back, twice a day. That gives me 40 minutes a day. And now, I'm about to go back to Inuvik because I'm almost done this contract and I have a habit of walking for 40 minutes every day. I'll have to figure out how that fits into my day at home where I don't have to go to an office that's far away, but I'm sure I'll be able to work it in because I'm used to doing it every day now, and it is a part of my routine.

Getting up and getting going, half the battle is just not thinking about it and not giving yourself a chance to second guess your decision. That's my talk about establishing healthy habits. So I wanted to share this with you so that as you're trying to set up your healthy habits, you have some ideas about what is involved. I think the biggest thing to remember is it's the resistance in your own mind that is the biggest thing that you have to get by. And the way you get by that is you just keep doing it over and over and over again and you're telling your brain what you're doing is important for yourself.

So when I get up in the morning, I reached for my Deep Blue. I put it on all my muscles, and I start working out. I don't wait to think about whether or not I feel like it. It's just part of my routine. I do it no matter what. And that's what you have to learn to do, is to make things part of your routine so that you do them no matter what, and then your body stops trying to think of excuses of why you shouldn't. And you actually start doing what I did this morning and waking up early because you feel good and you're ready to go, and that you're going to do this workout. It's better to be awake a little earlier than a little bit later.

Anyway, you have a really good day. Enjoy your afternoon. It's really super nice weather here. We had plus eight the last two days. Today, it was a little below zero, but it was raining in Inuvik. So north of the Arctic circle is having an awesome spring this year, and I hope you are too. Have a good one. Bye. Bye.


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